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Meet a close-knit South African skate scene in Greetings From Johannesburg

For the latest instalment of our Greetings From skateboarding series, we’re rolling out with the past, present and future of skateboarding in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Written by Niall Neeson
2 min readPublished on
Johannesburg, or Jozi, as its citizenry affectionately knows it, has been an active skating spot for 30 years. Thanks to pioneers like Pravesh Manga and his street hustling of skate gear, the scene began to grow.
The theme of 'do it yourself' is the through-line of our city report from the streets of South Africa – from the Westdene DIY skatepark, which was created from nothing by brothers Jarryd and Brandon Barnard, to Skate Society Soweto, fronted by the charismatic Sechaba The Bakersman.
Among those like-minded souls we connected with in Johannesburg is Thato Moet of the Island Gals skate crew, who’s become the emerging face of what’s new in the Johannesburg skate scene – thanks, in no small part, to the sterling photographic work of local ripper Karabo Mooki.
In this episode, Mooki takes us through some moments from the past 12 years of documenting the Jo’burg skate scene, sharing his experiences of the generational changes in skateboarding here.
The people here really do make the place
Levi Webb, Crow's Nest
The idea of making it happen without expecting external help, which is the leitmotif of the Johannesburg skate scene, is epitomised most clearly by the admired and respected Beki Dube, an entrepreneurial man-about-town who uses social media to trade in and deliver skate products across the city right to the spot where they are required.
I buy from whoever has, I sell to whoever doesn’t!
That 'can-do' attitude is something which makes him not only a pivotal face in the skate scene of the city but a symbol of it, as well.
What Johannesburg lacks in perfect surfaces, it makes up for in heart. It's one of the friendliest and most unified skate scenes we’ve come across on our global journey to connect grassroots skate scenes.
Get to know Beki, Mooki and more than 30 other people who make up some of the close-knit skate scene today as they welcome us into their skateboarding society in Greetings From Johannesburg.
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